The theme at the California Republican Party convention this past weekend was that the party must reach out to local communities and different ethnic groups to recruit and convert. As expected the Latino community was highlighted as the #1 priority for the party to focus on contacting. This year Latinos will take over as the #1 ethnic group in California. A statistic the party cannot continue to ignore.

Every different faction within the party, from the right wing to the more moderate Republicans agreed on the need to begin outreach into communities that have historically been ignored. The Plan – reach out to communities and discuss Republican ideals and convert the non-believers.  Party delegates and attendees appeared enthusiastic, reenergized and ready to begin rebuilding the party.

While that plan is absolutely necessary to stop the hemorrhaging of Republican voter registration and begin rebuilding, I wonder its efficacy. Without addressing the elephant in the room (no pun intended) of the Republican Party position on immigration, many Latinos won’t convert because of their desire for a more moderate immigration policy.

Even Republican Latino leaders were divided on immigration this weekend. One side mentioned Latinos should “get in line”, while the other side encouraged the party to truly address immigration so Latinos can begin identifying with Republicans.

One thing is clear- immigration is not going away and it is controversial. This will be a hot button issue to watch as the Party begins rebuilding and working with different communities throughout the state.